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Tuesday, 24 August 2021

Australia’s Gilmour Space and Germany’s Exolaunch Sign Agreements for Small Satellite Launch and In-Space Transportation Services


Gilmour Space Technologies, a premier Australian rocket company pioneering new and innovative hybrid propulsion technologies for launching small satellites, and Exolaunch, a Berlin-based leader in rideshare launch and deployment services for small satellites, today announced a series of agreements for small satellite launch, deployment and in-space transportation services. The companies join forces to provide tailored launch, precise deployment and in-space transportation services to the small satellite operators using Eris, a hybrid launch vehicle, developed by Gilmour.  

Under the agreements, Gilmour partners with Exolaunch, a trusted and experienced rideshare specialist with a solid flight heritage, and gains access to Exolaunch’s flight-proven cutting-edge small satellite deployment technologies and in-space transportation services via Exolaunch’s Reliant orbital transfer vehicle to expand the capabilities of Eris in low Earth orbit and beyond. Partnering with Gilmour, Exolaunch gains access to low-inclination missions and unique orbits via Gilmour’s innovative Eris launch vehicles lifting-off from Australian soil and will begin manifesting customers’ satellites on the upcoming launches of Eris.

Gilmour Space has secured a total of $64 million US dollars from global investors to date, the largest private equity investment raised by a space company in Australia. The Eris launch vehicle is scheduled for a debut commercial launch in 2022. The family of Eris launch vehicles will offer launch capacity within the range of 300-4000 kg to low Earth orbits from Australian and international launch sites. This capability is in line with Australian Space Agency’s national civil priority areas which include Access to Space; Position, Navigation and Timing; Earth Observation; Communications Technologies; Space Situational Awareness and Debris Management; Leapfrog R&D; and Robotics and Automation.

“The need for sovereign launch capability is coming into focus for Australia. However, space is a global industry and we’re proud to be working with leading companies like Exolaunch, to expand our launch services to global customers,” said Adam Gilmour, CEO and Co-founder of Gilmour Space.

Exolaunch provides rideshare launch, deployment, integration and in-space transportation services for New Space companies, space agencies and scientific institutions. Its flight heritage counts 13 successfully accomplished launches totaling 170 deployed small satellites with a similar amount of contracted satellites to be launched in the near future. The company is known for its ecosystem of flight-proven proprietary small satellite deployment technologies, including  CarboNIX, a lightweight, scalable and shock-free microsatellite separation system and EXOpod, a cutting-edge cubesat deployer. Exolaunch is also developing a line of environmentally-friendly orbital transfer vehicles named Reliant for the satellite last-mile delivery and space debris removal. Reliant will become available for commercial use starting in 2023.

“Partnering with Gilmour is a worthy example of bridging progressive innovation with heritage,” said Jeanne Medvedeva, VP of Launch Services, Exolaunch. “Reinforcing novel launch architecture with state-of-the-art deployment and in-space logistics services will pave the way for reliable launch solutions. We look forward to launching customers’ satellites from Australia on the Eris rockets making space more accessible for the New Space industry.”

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